• Martyna Kasperska

    Lawyer, Duraj Reck & Partners Law Firm

21 February 2024

Does the mobile worker start working as soon as they leave home?

A common problem in the case of the so-called A mobile worker, whose work mainly consists of moving between places where duties await him (e.g. meetings with contractors in offices throughout the province or even the country), is to determine from which moment he starts and when he finishes his work. There is no doubt that, as a general rule, an employee’s commute from home to work and back is not counted as working time. However, in the case of sales representatives or service technicians, who often have a company car at their disposal, the boundaries between private and working time can be difficult to draw sharply.

There is no regulation in the Labour Code directly referring to the working time. mobile workers. However, the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court comes to the rescue. In its ruling of 24 February 2021 Supreme Court (Ref. No. act III PSKP 4/21) pointed out a number of issues that in practice may prove to be extremely important for both employers and mobile workers themselves, and which are worth recalling.

In the opinion of the Supreme Court, it should be first recognized that the working time of an employee performing employment duties in a specific area, for which constant travel is necessary, also includes the time spent on necessary travel. During those journeys, the employee remains at the employer’s disposal, and the performance of work consists in the movement itself, without which it would not be possible to perform basic employee tasks. It does not matter what means of transport the employee uses (their own or provided by the employer). Thus, the Supreme Court upheld the positions expressed so far in other, similar cases.

Moreover, it also agreed with the view that in the case of employees for whom the employer has not arranged a place that could be treated as the employer’s out-of-town headquarters, they start their work as soon as they leave their home – if their work consists entirely of performing tasks in commercial establishments to which they commute by car. Working time also includes the mobile worker’s return home after completing their tasks.

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